Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it provides energy and sustenance ahead of the day’s activities (2). Many of you may assume otherwise, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. However, breakfast has many benefits including initiating a good calorie count, preventing increased cardiovascular risk, and preventing atherosclerosis (5).
Healthy 500 calorie breakfast meals can set a healthy tone for the day, allowing you to enjoy nutritious meals without constant snacking until lunch. Keep reading for great breakfast ideas.
What Does A Nutritious Breakfast Have?
Nutritious means it feeds your body the essential energy, nutrients, minerals, vitamins, dietary fibers, amino acids, and essential fatty acids.
What Foods Make A Nutritious Breakfast?
The basis of any nutritious meal, not just breakfast, should contain these five foods groups;
- Whole grains such as rolls, bagels, whole wheat bread, whole grain waffles, or whole-grain muffins.
- Lean proteins like eggs, legumes such as beans, beef, and nuts.
- Low-fat dairy such as skimmed milk, plain or low sugar yogurts and, low-fat cheeses such as cottage and natural cheeses.
- Fruits such as berries, bananas, and other frozen fruits.
- Vegetables including tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and many more.
What Foods Should I Limit?
Certain foods contain excess fats/ saturated fats, refined carbs, processed protein, and added sugars, which offer little nutritional value. Here are examples of foods that should be limited:
- Highly processed breakfast cereals with added sugar and low whole grain content.
- Pancakes, waffles, and some pastries – they’re oven topped with high-fructose corn syrup, honey, or brown sugar that are high in sugar. Plus, they’re high in refined starch, contributing to insulin resistance and obesity (3).
- Fruit juice – falls under sugar-sweetened drinks that contain high levels of sugar.
- Sweetened yogurt.
- Processed fatty animal products such as bacon and sausage. Diets high in these types of fats are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.. Moreover, the salt in processed meats can affect your blood pressure and cause water retention in your body.
Is A 500-Calorie Breakfast Too Much?
No, as long as you follow a nutritious 500 calorie diet breakfast, you should be fine. Note that this type of breakfast will keep you fuller for longer and could increase your metabolic rates.
What If I’m Not Hungry In The Morning?
It’s common to find that you wake up and don’t feel like taking breakfasts. Luckily, breakfast can be flexible, where you don’t have to take it immediately you wake up. You could take it at brunch time, especially if you’re aiming for calories as high as 500 and above.
What’s more, you can take breakfast in many different ways besides the usual eggs, bacon, toast, and a cup of black tea. Some days, you can opt for a high-calorie protein smoothie or shake that combines all the nutrients you need at one go. You could also snack on yogurt with nuts, fruits, and a sandwich or make a home-baked granola bar that suits your health needs.
500-Calorie Breakfast Ideas To Try At Home
Wondering what does a healthy 500 calorie breakfast look like? Here are some recipes that have whole-grain bread and fruit for fiber, and plenty of proteins that are more difficult for the body to break down and digest than other nutrients.
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Scrambled Eggs With Bell Pepper And Feta (458 Calories)
Breakfast packed with protein, vegetables, and fats added onto a whole grain carbohydrate.
- One tbsp of olive oil
- Two medium green bell peppers
- Four whole eggs
- 28 grams of feta cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Whole grain toast
- Heat the olive oil over a skillet in medium heat. Add in the bell peppers and cook till tender.
- Beat the eggs and add them into the skillet. Stir slowly over medium-low heat.
- Add in salt, pepper, and feta cheese. Stir to combine and soften the cheese.
- Serve over whole-grain toast with a cup of coffee or black tea.
Ham, Egg, And Spinach Roll-Ups (469 Calories)
Here’s a high protein meal with ham and eggs and vegetables.
- One tbsp of olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup of raw spinach
- One whole tomato
- Four whole eggs
- Regular 11% fat sliced ham
- Dice the tomato.
- Place a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add spinach and cook briefly until wilted, about one minute.
- Beat egg in a small bowl, then add to the pan with spinach and stir until it starts to set. When nearly set, add tomato and remove from heat.
- Add egg mixture into the center of ham and roll-up.
- Place back in the pan for 30 seconds on each side until the ham browns.
- Remove from the pan and serve.
Scrambled Eggs With Spinach And Mexican-Blend Cheese (499 Calories)
Here’s a close to perfect 500 calorie breakfast meal.
- One tbsp of olive oil
- Two cups of raw spinach
- Four large eggs
- 57 grams of low-fat Mexican cheese
- Place a skillet of medium heat and add the olive oil.
- Add in the spinach as you coat it with the oil. Cook until it’s slightly wilted, about three to four minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Beat the eggs and add to the skillet with the spinach. Stir slowly over the heat until you’re satisfied with the doneness.
- Sprinkle in the Mexican-blend cheese and stir to combine and soften the cheese.
- Once the cheese has melted, serve the eggs to a plate and enjoy with your favorite carbohydrate.
All-In-One Protein Smoothie (480 Calories)
Here’s a good choice for those who need a quick and easy breakfast solution.
- A tbsp of protein powder
- One banana
- A cup of frozen berries
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth.
Strawberry Banana Shake (490 Calories)
Another quick breakfast drink with high calories, 55g protein, 9g fat, 47g carbs, and 11g fiber.
- 350ml of milk, water, or yogurt
- Two scoops of vanilla or strawberry flavored protein powder
- One banana
- A cup of frozen strawberries
- A cup of spinach
- 2 tbsp of ground flax
Add all the above ingredients and blend for about 10 to 15 seconds until you achieve the desired smoothness.
High Protein Epic Breakfast Burrito Recipe (498 Calories)
- Two low carb tortillas
- Two large eggs
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ green pepper, diced
- 100 grams of ground beef
- ½ red pepper diced
- ½ small onion diced
- Salt and Pepper
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs together and add to a hot oiled nonstick skillet.
- Scrabble the eggs as you add in salt and pepper.
- As you cook over medium heat, add in the peppers and onion. Remove from pan and cover.
- In another skillet, cook the ground beef until it’s done.
- Lay tortilla on a plate and layer the scrambled eggs, peppers, onion, ground beef, and then finish off with a sprinkle of cheese.
How To Have A 500-Calorie Breakfast And Lose Weight?
To lose weight while on a 500 calorie breakfast, you need to be on a caloric deficit for the day as a whole.. The idea is to calculate your caloric intake for a day and reduce those calories while maintaining a high-calorie breakfast; remember, breakfast is what sets the tone for the day. You can begin with a high-calorie count for breakfast as you reduce the count for lunch and supper/dinner.
A caloric deficit is where you consume fewer calories than what your body uses in the day. You start by taking in your calories through eating then burning the calories with your daily activities. When your calorie expenditure exceeds your calorie intake, you’ll be in a caloric deficit.
Calculating Calorie Intake
There are several methods you can use to count your daily calorie intake.
- Use of calculators and tracking apps
- Weight maintenance calculations – You can multiply your current weight by 15 to give you a rough estimate of the number of calories per pound of bodyweight.
- The Harris-Benedict Equation. You begin by calculating your BMR, then multiply it by an activity factor based on your activity levels. That should give you your daily calorie needs.
How To Achieve A Caloric Deficit?
After finding your maintenance calorie intake, say 2000 calories a day, you deduct 500 calories to achieve the deficit. Five hundred calories less would be a good start as studies show that it can help you lose at least a pound a week.
To lose weight, you need to consume just 1500 calories in a day. From the 1500 calories, 500 of those calories go-to breakfast, and the remaining 1000 calories go to the day’s remaining meals.
A 500-calorie breakfast may seem a lot, but it can entail all the essential and healthy foods we need to stay nourished. A healthy 500-calorie breakfast should contain carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables, fats, and low-fat dairy.
Be sure to stay away from processed meats and carbohydrates high in fats, refined starch, and added sugars. Plus, if you’re looking to lose weight while on such a diet, consider a caloric deficit diet.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- A doctor’s recipe for a healthy breakfast (2017, health.harvard.edu)
- Breakfast: The most important meal of the day? (2017, sciencedirect.com)
- Excessive refined carbohydrates and scarce micronutrients intakes increase inflammatory mediators and insulin resistance in prepubertal and pubertal obese children independently of obesity (2014, pubmed.nih.gov)
- Harris-Benedict Equation (nd., med.conrnell.edu)
- The Importance of Breakfast in Atherosclerosis Disease (2017, sciencedirect.com)